SHARES in Vodafone slumped this morning after Verizon Communications denied plans for a full takeover, sending its shares down two per cent in early trading.
It turns the focus yet again to whether the two telecoms giants can do a deal over their Verizon Wireless joint venture.
The London-listed group’s shares have risen more than 25 per cent this year on hopes that it would sell its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless for around $115bn.
But with a sale likely to incur a tax bill for Vodafone in the region of $20bn, investors and analysts had suggested the two groups may prefer to merge. The denial of that option by Verizon late last night pushed shares down this morning.
“As Verizon has said many times, it would be a willing purchaser of the 45 per cent stake that Vodafone holds in Verizon Wireless,” it said.
“It does not, however, currently have any intention to merge with or make an offer for Vodafone, whether alone or in conjunction with others.”